By some accounts, the process of transgender women achieving an idealized voice began in a music store with a guitar tuner in the past.  Nowadays, voice training may be as accessible as a hand’s reach away. With the ease and prevalence of mobile applications, researchers are now creating voice training mobile applications expressly for transgender people, in order to make voice training more widely accessible.  TG Voice Therapy, a transgender voice training provider, brings you the story.

The voice plays a crucial role in self-expression and identity.  For a transgender woman, voice training therapy goes beyond identity.  As Seattle-based transgender woman Natalie Weizenbaum stated in an interview with smithsonian.com: “There are tangible safety benefits [in the ability] to pass as cis when you need to.”  Weizenbaum has had private voice training therapy sessions with a speech language pathologist, in addition to voice training mobile apps.

Transgender Voice Training

Numerous voice training mobile apps are currently being developed to supplement training with a speech therapist.  Many apps have variations for both transgender men and women, but studies have shown that a larger proportion of users are transgender women; studies attribute this to the added complexity of voice feminization.

The process of voice feminization is much more detailed than the process of voice masculinization.  Transgender women who go through puberty prior to beginning their transition will develop traditional masculine vocal characteristics which are not reversed by hormone replacement therapy.  For transgender men, testosterone treatment will thicken the vocal cords, producing a lower pitch.  However, for transgender women, estrogen treatment does not “thin” the vocal cords and raise the pitch; thus, transgender women need more vocal lessons to achieve a voice they feel matches their true identity and increases their confidence.

Although vocal training mobile apps have been praised for making vocal training more accessible, limitations exist.  Much of voice training involves speech patterns, pitch variation, and customized feedback, all of which cannot be achieved through a mobile app.  Ultimately, traditional in-person vocal training with a trained speech language pathologist will yield greater success in achieving individualized voice alteration, but these apps are a helpful supplement to this approach.

 

Transgender Voice Training

TG Voice Therapy is the leading transgender voice training therapy provider.  They offer customized voice therapy sessions aimed at achieving each individual’s voice goals.  Visit their website to check out their full range of offerings.  They are located at 2836 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Phone: 323.522.6071.